Twenty-three hundred hectares – that is the area of Frankfurt Airport, the largest airport in Germany. In 2017, Frankfurt Airport handled 2.2 million tonnes of airfreight and welcomed 64.5 million passengers. Therefore, it is the largest airport for airfreight handling in Europe. Forty percent of air cargo is transported in the bellies of passenger aircraft and 60 percent is forwarded in cargo airplanes.
Ninety-nine airlines flew from Frankfurt to 311 destinations in 97 countries worldwide this summer – thus, Frankfurt Airport is doubtless Germany’s most important gateway to the world. Moreover, in 2017, twenty-eight cargo airlines flew to 105 destinations in 53 countries.
But what makes Frankfurt Airport such an important cargo hub?
Located in the core of Europe, Frankfurt Airport gains from a seamless accessibility, not only via airplane. The location directly at the “Frankfurter Kreuz” – one of Germany’s most important traffic junctions – ensures an optimal road connection. In addition, Frankfurt Airport is ideally linked to the railway system. Besides two passenger railway stations, the airport also has a freight train access in CargoCity South at its disposal.
The net cargo handling area of Frankfurt Airport amounts to a total of 149 hectares. Besides all major forwarders, cargo airlines, handling agents and other service providers of the logistic industry, various facilities for the handling of all types of freight goods are on-site. For example:
- The “Perishable Center” – Europe’s largest and most modern center for perishable goods with 20 separate temperature zones.
- The “Animal Lounge” – the world’s most modern animal station, with a veterinary office.
- The “Airmail Center” – with a total of 18,000 square meters of space for handling and warehousing of airmail and express packages.
Moreover, Frankfurt Airport offers 12,000 square meters of GDP and CEIV-certificated areas for seamless handling of pharmaceutical goods, and offers temperature-controlled vehicles for the transport of temperature-sensitive commodities. For particular valuable products, there are extra-secured areas. Warehouse facilities are also available for all types of dangerous goods.
As an innovation leader, Frankfurt Airport supports the digitization of cargo processes in cooperation with all players of the supply chain. A multitude of cargo truck docks is already managed via a slot booking system, and a new data platform allows for digital documentary handling of dangerous goods.
A constantly expanding airport
With the inauguration of the fourth runway in 2011, Frankfurt Airport increased its flight movement capacity by 50 percent. This is now followed by the expansion of the landside infrastructure.
By the end of 2023, Terminal 3 will be built in the southern airport area with a capacity of at least 19 million passengers annually. New freight capacities will come along with a rising number of flight movements.
Simultaneously, the on- and off-airport freight handling area will be expanded. Office and logistic facilities in the areas “CargoCity South,” “Gateway Gardens” and “Mönchhof” are about to be grown by 50 percent. Moreover, the amount of cargo aircraft positions on the apron is constantly rising.